Yoga breathing exercises are also called Pranayamas;
Prana means "air" and "energy" in Sanskrit;
it is the art of controlling vital force.
What is it al about?
We breathe daily about 23.000 times... breathing is linked to life like nothing else is. We can resist without food or drinking for much more time than we can without breath.
Air is our basic energy and our basic nourishment, it gives energy that feeds our cells immediatly withour any time of conversion.
When we learn to breathe in deeply and to breathe out completely we can master the energy that comes into our body and by absorbing it we will be ready to confront with calmness and determination all difficult situations that appear in our life.
Our respiration changes depending on the emotions we are living; stress or fear block the breath, anger and passion accelerate it, concentration and meditation make it slow down.
So respiration is an automatic reaction; but we can control it by will. The control of our breath is an important part of yoga practice..it can heal ailments, it stimulates the immune defense system and enables us to know ourselves better.
"Energy" is the link between "mind" and "body".
In reality we are energy, the very atoms of which our physical bodies are made; are but energy.
By controlling "prana" we control our body and mind system.
By regular practice of pranayama you are able to become more internally focussed and experience less the outer 5 senses in order to intensify your mediation experience.
Breathing can be vigourous ex: double breath during the recharging exercises and breathing can be profound and have healing effects of ex: complete yogic breathing.
But most important is the sense of “pranayama”; control of the vital force.
The practice of pranayama works on the energetic “astral” level of our being – from IDA (breath in, upward energetic current, activate Sympatic Nervous System) and PINGALA (breath out, downward energetic current, Parasympatic Nervous System)
So key becomes the control of our breathing in order to install the “union and calmness” that yoga signifies.
Controlling our vital force by controlling our breathing.
Ex: Yogananda's recharging exercises we focus on the energy flow, bringing in the vital force from the medula oblongata (base of the head) to every part of our body with the intention to bring light and healing there.
“joy” breathing combines breathing with the visualization of bringing into the body and mind healing qualities s.a. joy, peace, love and expells negative thoughts and feelings;
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